Top ten time-saving tips – Word

9th Aug 2012 | 08:29

Top ten time-saving tips – Word

The top ten Microsoft Word tips for small business

Our top ten tips to help you save time in Microsoft Word 2010

Note - Most of these tips will also work in Word 2007 and some will work in Word 2003

1/ Resetting Word's copy and paste options

If you're cutting and pasting copy in Word you'll soon find that you are laboriously setting or resetting the text to match the formatting of the current document.

To avoid having to choose formatting options every time you paste text, click the File tab, followed by 'Word Options', then move to the 'Advanced' section.

Under the 'Cut, copy and paste' heading, use the dropdown menu to choose your new default setting for format pasting.

We also recommend that you untick the box labelled 'Show Paste Options Buttons,' by doing that you also prevent the formatting options pop-up from being displayed in the future.

2/ Compare two documents

Word includes a tool that allows you to compare two documents to each other and for you to selectively mark up the document with the differences between the two documents.

Compare two documents side by side in Word 2010

Display the Review tab of the ribbon, click the Compare tool and then choose Compare. Word displays the Compare Documents dialog box, you then select the original document and the new edited document and the sort of mark-up you require.

If you want to select what sort of changes are marked then select the More button. When you have finished click on OK and Word makes the changes and shows the two documents side by side.

3/ Moving your formatting from one computer to another

If like us you have desktop and a laptop, then you'll want your copy of Word to be the same on both devices, including all those changes you've made to the Quick Access Toolbar. Luckily, you can copy your preferences for your toolbar from one computer to another.

For Word 2007

Use Explorer or your choice of File tool to navigate to 'C:\Users\[Your Username]\ AppData\Local\Microsoft\ Office'. If you can't see AppData then you need to select Tools, and Folder Options. Select the View tab and select "Show hidden files, folders and drives" and select OK.

Here you'll find a file called 'Word.qat' – this can be duplicated for backup purposes, or copied to the same directory in another computer

For Word 2010

If you are using Word 2010 then the QAT file no longer exists. Instead, Word uses a file called Word.OfficeUI. You can find the file in the same directories where the QAT file was stored in Word 2007. Again, just copy the file from one Word 2010 system to another and you should be OK.

You should note that in Word 2010 the Word.OfficeUI file contains more than just the Quick Access Toolbar configuration changes. It also contains information about your changes to the Word ribbons. So if you copy the file from one system to another, then the target system will have the same QAT and ribbon customisations as the source system.

4/ Finding another word for…

One of the tools that Word provides is a full thesaurus. You can use this tool to find alternate words with the same meaning (synonyms), words with the opposite meaning (antonyms), or related words. Related words are typically similar words based on the root of the word you specify.

To find a related word, follow these steps. First position the cursor on the word you wish to check then press

Shift+F7

Word displays the Research task pane at the right side of the screen, with the thesaurus information displayed.

Show related words in Word 2010

If related words are available for the word, you will see the Related Words choice in the task pane. Click on Related Words, and in the Related Words list, select the desired related word. Click the down-arrow to the right of the related word and choose Insert.

5/ Quick scroll through documents

Word has quite a lot of undocumented commands and the auto scrolling option is one of the better ones

First click the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options, select the Customize Quick Access Toolbar then choose "All Commands" from the "Choose Commands From" drop-down box on the left.

In the list of available commands at the left side of the dialog box select the AutoScroll command.

Click Add. Word will move the command to the right side of the dialog box. You should probably also add the "Options" option as you'll be using this frequently and it's so much easier to just click on the File Options tab. Now click OK.

To use your new command, simply click on the command on the Quick Access Toolbar. When you do, the mouse pointer changes. Move the mouse pointer up or down and the document starts scrolling in that direction. The distance you move the mouse pointer up or down controls the speed at which scrolling occurs. To exit the scrolling mode, you can either press the Esc key or click the mouse button.

6/ Adding special symbols

If your keyboard hasn't got a Euro symbol, or you want to type a temperature in degrees, then you're going to need the special symbols dialog box.

Position the insertion point where you want the special symbol inserted. Move to the Insert tab on the ribbon interface, click Symbol, in the Symbols group and Word will display a short list of various symbols you can insert. If your symbol is on there, then just click on it and it appears in your text. If you can't see it then click on More Symbols, and Word displays the Symbol dialog box.

Adding a special symbol in Word 2010

It's worth looking at the Symbol dialog box as this also gives you a list of the shortcuts for the special symbols, for example;

€ = ALT+CTRL+E

© = ALT+CTRL+C

7/ Edit HTML without the formatting

Word includes a feature that allows you to open HTML documents and have them appear on your screen just as they would appear in your browser. However if you want to use Word as an HTML editor program you need to make a few changes.

Click the File tab on the Ribbon interface then click Options and word displays the Word Options dialog box. At the left side of the dialog box click Advanced. Scroll through the options until you see the General section. Then select the check box on "Confirm File Format Conversion On Open" and click on OK.

Now, whenever you open a document with an HTML extension, Word will display a Convert File dialog box. The box will ask you how you want Word to treat the file you are opening, by default the HTML Document option is selected, however by selecting the Text Only option, Word will then treat the file as plain text, without doing any formatting.

8/ Skipping numbering on a title page

Setting up a page number is quite simple to do in Word, but by default it will number every page including title pages. To avoid this, first set up page numbering, by choosing the Insert Tab and selecting Footer, and then selecting the type of page numbering you want.

Skipping numbering on a title page in Word 2010

Next move to the Page Layout tab before clicking the button in the lower right-hand corner of the Page Setup section. This will bring up the Page Setup dialog box with the layout tab selected, next tick the box labelled 'Different first page', before clicking OK.

9/ Jump to a page

Scrolling through a document to a specific page can be time consuming particularly on large documents, but there's a much quicker way, if you know the page number of the place you want to be.

Press F5. Word displays the Go To tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. On the left side of the dialog box, make sure that you indicate you want to go to a page (this should be the default choice).

Enter the page number to which you want to move, click on Go To, or press Enter.

Jump to a page number in Word 2010

As well as a page you can also jump to sections, line numbers and a number of other options, just select the option and enter the name of the section or the line number etc.

10/ Switching to the old Word format

For some the Office Ribbon interface is the digital equivalent of Marmite, you either hate it or you love it. If like us you were a pre-Office 2007 user you're more likely to be a hater than a lover so the opportunity to go back can't be missed.

While you can't switch back to the original layout, you can at least get rid of the ribbon and here's how you do it.

First right-click anywhere on the ribbon and then tick or un-tick the 'Minimize the Ribbon' option and the menu will magically disappear to be replaced with the tab headings. This menu can also be accessed by right-clicking on the down arrow icon at the end of the Quick Access Toolbar.

The third option is to double-click one of the tabs at the top of the ribbon to toggle the ribbon on and off. Finally, you can always use the keyboard shortcut – simply press [Ctrl]+[F1].

It's also worth noting that the ribbon can quite easily be hidden by accident, so if this has happened, these tips can be used to show and hide it as required.

Have you got any hot tips and tricks? We'd love to hear them if you have then leave them in a comment below.

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